Widnes Vikings have signed Papua New Guinea star Kato Ottio from Canberra Raiders for the 2018 season.
The 23-year-old, who can play at centre or on the wing, was one of the Kumuls’ key players at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
He joins the Vikings as a promising prospect, scoring 29 tries in 23 games in his debut season for Canberra Raiders’ Intrust Super Premiership NSW feeder team, the Mounties.
Ottio, who is 6ft 4in and 105kg, won the Winger of the Year award in the NSW Cup, having 22 line breaks and 99 tackle busts to his name in an impressive season.
It is understood that Widnes beat a handful of Super League clubs to his signature.
And Vikings head coach, Denis Betts, believes Ottio can put his own stamp on the Betfred Super League.
He said: “Kato is a fantastic signing, who we are delighted to welcome to Widnes Vikings.
“He is a big outside-back, with World Cup experience. I am excited by the quality that he will add to our edges. He is relishing his opportunity to play in the Super League, and is looking to make a big impression at Widnes Vikings.
“Kato is a player who qualities we have seen during the World Cup. I have also spoken to several people in the NRL and connected to Canberra Raiders during my time at the tournament, who rate him very highly.
“It is exciting for us to follow the recent signing of Krisnan Inu with another talented outside-back, who will add competition and quality to the team.”
The "try-scoring freak", “possessing a lethal combination of size and speed", will be ripping it up for the Vikings in 2018. ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/7bFteyykIs
— Widnes Vikings (@WidnesRL) December 1, 2017
Ottio, subject to visa approval, will be welcomed to pre-season training with the Vikings at the earliest opportunity.